The coolest items from this year’s Design Exchange auction—and what they’re worth

The coolest items from this year’s Design Exchange auction—and what they’re worth

You don’t need gads of money to go to an auction—though, at the second annual Design Exchange Design Auction on June 14, it might help. The classic and contemporary items scheduled for sale come from the private collections of Canada’s top stylemakers and the world’s leading design brands. Here are some of the coolest items scheduled to hit the auction block next week.

Another Time, Another Airport Bench by Brothers Dressler

Another Time, Another Airport Bench - Brothers Dressler

Estimated value: $2,400
Backstory: This slatted stunner is inspired by a desolate airport of the future. The frames are made out of red oak reworked from the former trim at Story Planet, a community hub at 1165 Bloor St. in Mississauga, and feature a repurposed conveyor apron from a defunct felt factory. Donated by Lars and Jason Dressler

Catalina Server by Russell Spanner

Catalina Server - Russell Spanner donated by Douglas Design

Estimated value: $4,600
Backstory: Russell Spanner, who ran Ruspan of Toronto, was Canada’s original furniture-crafting hipster. His clean, minimalist works—which were distributed by Eaton’s and Simpson’s in the 1950s—helped modernize Canadian furniture design, while Spanner himself became well-known for jumping on his furniture to test its durability. Donated by Douglas Design Studio

Hand-drawn Umbra Oh Chair by Karim Rashid for Umbra

DSC_6651 DSC_6662

Estimated value: $300-$400 per chair
Backstory: Rashid’s clients include hotels,Veuve Clicquot and Giorgio Armani. He made this colourful seat from one single moulded piece of polypropylene and signed it with his famous scrawl. Donated by Umbra

Eames Elephant by Charles and Ray Eames for Studio B

Eames elephant - donated by Studio B

Estimated value: $330
Backstory: Husband and wife team Charles and Ray Eames, two of the most important figures in 20th-century design, created this toy in 1945, but it never went to production. It has since been sold in plastic by Vitra, the sole authorized manufacturer of Eames products. Donated by Studio B

Palmerston Stools by Coolican & Company

Palmerston Stools by Coolican and Company
Estimated value: $1,050
Backstory: Small-batch specialists Coolican and Company make hand-built, limited runs of gorgeous, quiet furniture. Two leggy lookers made of solid black walnut harvested on the Niagara Escarpment are being sold off. A faceted top makes for comfy seating. Donated by Coolican and Company

Armchair by Pierre Jeanneret

Armchair by Pierre Jeanneret donated by Porch Modern
Estimated value: $7,000
Backstory: Oh, this old thing.It’s an armchair that master Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret (1896-1967) designed with the city of Chandigarh, India, in mind (he and his cousin, the famed Le Corbusier, designed many of that city’s buildings). The same chair, with its matching desk, is currently for sale on for nearly $20,000. Donated by Porch Modern

Warren Platner Lounge Chair by Warren Platner for Knoll

Warren Platner Lounge Chair donated by Hollace Cluny
Estimated value: $5,540
Backstory: Platner, an American architect, sought to make a graceful, decorative statement chair. Now all you need to do is find three more and make it a set. Donated by Hollace Cluny

Gio Ponti Armchair by Gio Ponti

Gio Ponti armchair by Gio Ponti donated by Molteni I Dada
Estimated value: $8,070
Backstory: Say the name Gio Ponti in design circles, and you’ll immediately be welcomed into the club: the early 20th century architect and industrial designer created iconic pieces—from decanters to cars—for more than 120 companies, and designed buildings in 13 countries. This re-edition of Ponti’s classic design is produced by Italian furniture company Molteni&C and based on the original drawings from the Ponti archives. Donated by Molteni & C Dada

Marine Chair designed by Élain Fortin


Estimated value: $1,060
Backstory: On a trip to Fogo Island, Montreal designer Élaine Fortin was inspired by the way the area’s boat-builders would use naturally curved wood to build their vessels. She created this lightweight, plywood piece in homage to Fogo Island’s boat-building heritage. Donated by the Fogo Island Shop